Posted August 27, 2013

Fan petitions league to remove Joe Flacco banner from Mile High

AFC East, AFC North, Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos
(RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Joe Flacco’s likeness is being used to promote the NFL’s Kickoff Game. (RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The last time the Broncos faithful saw Joe Flacco in person, the Baltimore Ravens QB was rallying his team to a dramatic double-overtime playoff win over Denver on Jan. 12. They’ll get another shot at Flacco next Thursday, in the NFL’s season opener … and apparently, they would prefer not to have to set eyes on the Super Bowl MVP a moment sooner.

A Denver fan going by the handle “Broncos Nation” launched a petition on Change.org, requesting that the NFL remove from outside Denver’s Sports Authority Field a banner of Joe Flacco, which is being used to promote the league’s annual Kickoff Game.

The petition reads:

To:
Roger Goodell, @nflcommish, National Football League
Take the Joe Flacco signage off my Mile High Stadium! Broncos Nation will not endure this detestable and audacious act. Who in their right mind thought that we would just let this fly?! We stand united against your unbearable Joe Flacco signage.
Sincerely,
[Your name]

Denver fans have been up in arms over the oversized Flacco photo (and other Ravens promotional pieces) — so much so that the Broncos’ official Twitter account tried to ease their concerns:

Local sports radio host Peter Burns further riled up the population Tuesday morning, tweeting: “Broncos fans are you really outraged about a Joe Flacco poster? You have to be smarter than that right?”

The responses to that tweet, predictably, have been less than friendly:

Of course, plenty of pro-Broncos promotional material is on display at and around Mile High, including a large image of Peyton Manning opposite the one of Flacco. The NFL plays up this Kickoff Game like a mini-Super Bowl, complete with a pregame concert.

It also may be worth pointing out that the league tried to open the year with a game in Baltimore, as has been done for every defending Super Bowl champion since 2004. A conflict with the Orioles, who will be in the midst of a homestand next week, forced the league to move the opener.

Denver fans are no doubt happy to play hosts in Baltimore’s stead. They just would prefer to be a little less cordial to the visitors.

Update: Vic Lombardi of CBS4 in Denver used Twitter to organize some backlash against the Flacco ads, several more of which popped up near Mile High:

He posted several videos of himself drawing on, taping over or otherwise defacing several Flacco banners:

34 comments
IrishLegion
IrishLegion

I will never understand hardcore fandom.

CharlesBrooks
CharlesBrooks

The town whose football team sacrificed a virgin for a chance at the title is whining about promotional pictures? Say it ain't so!

Holden
Holden

Thanks for elevating 'Broncos Nation' to some sort of celebrity, SI.  I wonder if I should start a petition to force the Kroenkes to sell the Avs and Nuggets.  No, it won't rid this city of the family that keeps foisting mediocre teams down our throats...but I might get a mention in some stupid SI item!

NY NBK Far Superior
NY NBK Far Superior

Bronco fans need to grow up its just a picture. Bandwagon fans anyway. Hopped on the Tebow wagon then when they got Peyton turned on him.

ClevelandRocks
ClevelandRocks

I have lots of Broncos fan friends and they don't care. They got a freebie because this would have been an away game if not for the scheduling conflict.

donald5
donald5

Denver is getting the NFL home opener that is normally given to the Super Bowl winner.  Basically they are getting this gift by default.  It is an economic boost to the city as well as good marketing.  And now a certain segment of the population is complaining about the manner the gift to the city is being given?  That is like getting a free lunch and complaining that it doesn't include your favorite bag of chips.  Get over it.

WarrenBuckParsons
WarrenBuckParsons

The game should have been played in Baltimore on Wednesday Sept. 4 in order to avoid conflicts with the Orioles. The Ravens should not have to open on the road after winning the Super Bowl. Being a Broncos fan, I think many fans here are overreacting to the the Flacco banners. The NFL is trying to hype up the season opener. It's not a war just a football game. 

sero.evo
sero.evo

I understand the outrage, even if obviously a first-world problem, but it bothers me more that the team names are not on the same side as their player photos. You have Manning beside "Ravens" and Flacco beside "Broncos."

DavidWayneHenley
DavidWayneHenley

One small glimpse of living in the Idiocracy and having no meaningful life.

peatwo
peatwo

Biggest concerns in Denver:

1 Flacco Poster

2. Miley Cyrus

3. The Broncos might suck

4. Saving a common flower that just happens to grow above oil deposits. No drilling!

5. How's my pot plant doing

10. Drought and wild fires that are killing citizens and ruining lives

Richard B
Richard B

I live in Denver. Many Bronco fans are idiotic. I mean, what does it say when a celebrity goes around defacing signs? 

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

Huh?  How in the heck does the NFL think promoting the opponent in the home team's city and on their stadium is hyping up the game?  What a joke.  That is just the dumbest thing I have ever heard. 

Annabel
Annabel

We get it, rubbing last year's playoff loss in Denver's face.  NFL schedulers probably punishing those rocky mountain fans (not all Denver fans by any stretch) that have been whining all summer about the how they got robbed in January.  News flash for you clowns:  (1) One play did not determine outcome of a 38-35 game.  (2) the better team won;  and (3) Flacco outplayed Manning.   Get over it, time to start generating your excuses for coming up short in 2013.

MarcSchenker
MarcSchenker

You knew that somehow, someway the morons from Denver would overcome the good fans in Denver and blame the whole thing on Joe Flacco. Football and class don't seem to go together anymore.

jeremyvillano
jeremyvillano

So in other words:

Because the city of Baltimore cares so little for their football team that they are displaced by their mediocre baseball team, the city of Denver is accosted by Flacco's grotesquely overpaid mug.

That makes sense.

BB2
BB2

it just hurts more because you can't cover the deep ball...

NonnaBlackandPurpleAllDay
NonnaBlackandPurpleAllDay

The game should have been in Baltimore! So please suck it up! We would welcome a banner of Peyton Manning if we were hosting the opening game..SINCE WE ARE THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPS!

M30
M30

To the victor go the spoils.  

Are the Broncos fans really complaining about being honored with opening the season at home?  I know a lot of Ravens fans who would gratefully trade places with them.  

donald5
donald5

@randomdeletion I suppose they thought the city would just be grateful to host the opening game of the NFL season when they only got it by default.

Scramble
Scramble

@Annabel Two plays determined the outcome of the game. Running two kicks back for touchdowns. Number one it kept Manning off the field from eating up the clock and wearing down our defense. Number two keeping our defense off the field to keep them rested for the fourth quarter and overtime.

ChristopherJohnson1
ChristopherJohnson1

@jeremyvillano Completely false statement. Ravens own baltimore and Maryland for the most part.  It's the Orioles owner who didn't allow the Ravens to get the home game and yes Marylanders are mad about it.

donald5
donald5

@jeremyvillano You seem to think the city tells the Baltimore Orioles when it can or cannot have a baseball game.  The Orioles can do what they want.  That is a big money making weekend for the team (people on vacation for Labor day) and they are not going to just hand over all the lost revenue to make the Ravens and the NFL happy.

athelstane
athelstane

@jeremyvillano It also has to be pointed out that the NFL could have rescheduled the Kickoff Game to Wednesday the 4th.  But because they did not want to play a game on the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashannah, they ruled that out as an option.

Never mind that the league doesn't seem to mind having games on Christmas Day.

athelstane
athelstane

@jeremyvillano The City of Baltimore sets no records for excellence in leadership, but it also has no power to force the Orioles to reschedule their game. It can petition MLB, and urge the Orioles to join its request, but that's pretty much it. 

MarcSchenker
MarcSchenker

@jeremyvillano There is an intelligence about you, Jeremy, that eludes the human race. Perhaps a new brain would help. At any rate, could you come back and explain why you forgot to take your Lithium this morning.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@jeremyvillano Or it could mean that some football fans continue their inane whining and tantrums worthy of a seven-year-old.

jeremyvillano
jeremyvillano

@athelstane

I certainly can't speak to the league's thinking, but as a Jew who married into a Catholic family, I can tell you that on Rosh Hashanah, I'm in temple.  On Christmas Day, I'm in our living room.

jeremyvillano
jeremyvillano

@MarcSchenker

First off, I just want to congratulate you on your new role as spokesperson for the human race.  The human race is very lucky to have you.

I agree with you completely.  

I should not have pointed out the very real fact that the sports and business community of Baltimore didn't do much to make a little space on the bench for the WORLD CHAMPION BALTIMORE RAVENS!(tm) to play their opening day game at home.  (Which was kind of a joke, but also kinda true.) The Ravens are like the Rodney Dangerfield of World Champions.  And for a mediocre baseball team!  What else do the Ravens need to do to earn some respect?!  

So the Ravens have to open in Denver.  Sad.  I can understand why Baltimore fans have got a rash about that, and why they are a little jumpy.  But I'm sure you can understand how Denver fans feel about having another team's colors draped on their walls -- ESPECIALLY because of how things ended for the Broncos.  You'd be pissed too if this situation was reversed.  You know it, and I know it.  Admit it.  And I understand that the Ravens faced instant criticism after they won the Super Bowl -- that they were fluke champions.  That the Ravens were undeserving of the Lombardi trophy.  I can understand how Ravens fans are a little defensive, because those questions will never go away.

I'm sorry I did that.

I should have done with what you did.   Post a fact-free, evidence-free, logic-free, point-free ad hominem attack.  I didn't do that because I thought it might reflect poorly on me.  But you've proved that totally wrong!  Good on you.

Lithium, by the way, is an antipsychotic generally prescribed for manic/depressives.  Huh?  You totally blew an opportunity to be funny.  But sick people are funny to you?

If you're going to insult me, at least be clever, intelligent or witty.  No one likes the schmuck in the conversation. 

(PS -- We ALL know Flacco's contract is going to strangle you.  Enjoy dealing with that brat.)

athelstane
athelstane

@jeremyvillano @athelstane No doubt, Jeremy - I am sure you're not alone.

For Catholics and Orthodox, Christmas Mass is a holy day of obligation - one that, admittedly, many choose to fulfill with a vigil Mass the night before.  

But if I'm objecting to anything, it's not the league's decision to refuse to play games in Rosh Hashanah, so much as the apparent inconsistency of declining to do so as well on Christmas. Especially since, in 2012, the 49ers/Lions opener was actually played on...Rosh Hashanah.  All of which leads me to suspect that trying to honor Rosh Hashanah really isn't what the NFL tried to do here.  

But back to the original point: This mess was created by a scheduling conflict between two pro sports leagues, the NFL and MLB, using stadia that would be sharing many of the same parking lots and light rail transit  - and at the end of the day, neither was really willing to compromise. The City of Baltimore, screwed up as it is, had nothing to do with this fiasco. 

P.S. I'm actually St. Louis Cardinals fan, but I also think it's a little unfair to call the Orioles a "mediocre" team. They did end up going to the playoffs last fall, within a game of the ALCS, and they're still in fair contention for a wild card. They haven't had quite the success of the Ravens lately, but they also aren't the cellar dwellers they used to be, either.